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Sherriff's Message: Motorcycles and motor vehicles

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Motorcycles have been a big part of my life for many years. Raised on a small mini bike at age 5, I eventually graduated to a smaller dirt bike, a larger dirt bike, smaller road bikes and currently ride a large touring motorcycle.  

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My love for these machines has never been stronger and I find myself wanting to ride mine as much as I can. I have a large amount of saddle time on my bike and would hope I have a certain set of skills to ride and certain attributes necessary to ride at this time in my life, which is over the age of 45.  

In Minnesota, a record 237,000 motorcycles were registered in 2012 — a number that has more than doubled since the mid-1990s. With that being said, Minnesota has had a large amount of traffic deaths involving motorcycles with at least 32 motorcycle deaths thus far.  

It was said that in many of these deaths since January, half of those killed in motorcycle crashes statewide were over the age of 45 with two recent deaths in our county. 

The older we get the more we have to face certain realization. We aren’t as nimble as we once were, we don’t tuck and roll like we did at one time and the reaction time we all did have is slowly diminishing with each passing year.  

It’s a fact of life and sometimes hard to accept.

Is it the fault of the rider at all times? Absolutely not. However, we (riders) have to accept our personal challenges and the people who aren’t riders have to accept some things as well. There are more bikes on the road than ever before. These riders need some space and maneuverability. And these drivers need to use more caution when it comes to focusing on driving and driving alone.    

As we go about our daily travels, remember that one fatality is too many. We all have to work together in an effort to make this work and we all need to focus on three things as we travel our area roads:

• Patience.

• Common sense.

• Understanding.

Thank you to all. Enjoy the rest of the summer and please continue to be safe.

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